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4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

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4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

There are four of us (all adults and fit) planning on spending 4 days in the Lake District in September. We will be travelling down from and then returning to Edinburgh. We have accommodation booked for 4 nights just outside Ambleside. This will be our only trip to the lakes and would like recommendations that will give us a good overview of what the lakes have to offer. We are happy to drive around to see attractions or get to recommended walks but would prefer to limit this as we will be doing a fair amount of driving during our UK trip anyway. Any recommendations that are farther north of Ambleside could be visited on the way down or back up to Edinburgh. Many thanks.

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1. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

There are literally dozens of 'attractions', depending on your interests of course.

So, what are your interests?

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2. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

North of Ambleside?

Instead of driving down the M6 to Penrith

Why not leave the Motorway at Carlisle and follow the A595 to Cockermouth, then the A66 past Bassenthwaite Lake into Keswick a pleasant drive on decent roads this would add about an hour on your journey when compared to the M6/A66/ A591 route.

A lot longer but worth considering.

Or continue down the A595 , take a detour into Whitehaven a Georgian town for a quick visit

Then you have the a western Lakes of Ennerdale, Wasdale, Loweswater, Buttermere to hand and explore

You can then make your approach to Ambleside a few ways from the west.

The most spectacular would be via Hardknott pass.

www.visitcumbria.com/wc/hardknott-pass/

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186318-i783-k34…

It will obviously take you a lot longer to drive this way into the Lakes and onto Ambleside, but if you got an early start I think you would have a memorable day and got to a lot of the driving out of the way in one go.

North of Ambleside , if you approach from the M6 at Penrith to Keswick, there is Borrowdale with some good walks, Watendlath, Grange and then return to Keswick and follow the A591 to Ambleside.

You will pass Grasmere well worth popping into for a stroll around the village and then a little further on there is Rydal Water, good car parking just off the main road and a circular walk around the lake.

where2walk.co.uk/lake_district/…

Edited: 3:00 am, March 01, 2014
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3. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

The Lakes is geographically a small area, thus driving distances are never large, though they can be slow, without driving however its difficult to get around in the time you have.

I've restricted my choices to what I think the "average tourist" wants thus I've omitted the challenging walks etc that can be done.

The drive through Borrowdale over Honister and then to Buttermere, the walk round the lake is magnificent. This can incorporate a visit to Keswick and to the Honister slate mine. In all its a full day.

The drive to Ullswater and a trip on the steamer.

Walk from Ambleside over Loughrigg fell to Grasmere, alternately if you don't want to walk over Loughrigg (1000 feet) you can walk beside Rydal Water. Walk back either along the coffin route from Grasmere to Rydal and then through Rydal Park back to Ambleside or walk firstly beside Rydal Water then cross the road and walk through the park. The walk will take about 90 minutes to 2 hours each way and you will need the rest of the day for Grasmere.

Hill Top the home of Beatrix Potter and then on to Hwkshead

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4. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

For me the Lake District is all about walking and the scenery so unless you have particular interests in Wordsworth or Beatrix Potter I personally wouldn't prioritise those over a long walk in the fells. That said the posts above have some excellent recommendations to which I would add Cockermouth which is handsome town just to the North of the National Park.

Some other options where you could combine walking with seeing "attractions" are:

Castlerigg stone circle - just outside Keswick which you could visit as part of a walk to Watendlath and then go back along the lake past the bowder stone and surprise view.

As Bongodog says take the steamer across Ullswater to Howtown but walk back along the Lake shore to Glenridding.

If you want to go to Hill Top (Beatrix Potter's home) you could combine that with a look around Coniston (another steamer cruise) and a walk around Tarn How's which is a picturesque highlight.

At the end of the day it depends on how serious you want your walking to be. You say you are all fit but even on a day of good weather I wouldn't recommend anyone heading up into the fells without the right kit.

Miles

Edited: 1:20 am, March 02, 2014
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5. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

There will be a Tourist Information Centre in Ambleside where you can ask for advice.

They will also be able to sell you small guide books for local walks or local drives.

I know it has already been mentioned, but one of the best walks from Ambleside is to go up Loughrigg Fell. It is not very high but is a hugely interesting fell with fine views in every direction.

This can be walked from within the town of Ambleside and is probably a good starter walk.

The famous Lake District expert Alfred Wainwright said this fell was one of the "best" fells in the Lake District, and he said in one of his guide books "everybody loves Loughrigg"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loughrigg_Fell

guideus.co.uk/articles/…51

I have not been up Loughrigg for years but just writing about it again makes me want to go an walk it again.

Edited: 10:53 am, March 02, 2014
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6. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

Morgana, Thank you for your response. As far as interests are concerned - we are looking to be outdoors as much as possible although we appreciate this will involve possibly many hours of driving to get to locations. We gather that much of this driving will offer scenic views so are comfortable with this. We aren't too interested in the literary attractions the Lakes has to offer; it's more about getting a broad feel of this picturesque area so this would include visiting especially attractive or noteworthy towns and villages, taking a cruise on a steamer and some walking that will encompass great views (without necessarily having to enlist the services of a local guide). Recommended drives would also be appreciated (the Hardknott Pass is definitely on the list!). As mentioned, we have four nights booked around Ambleside and want to, as far as possible, be efficient in the planning of our day trips to other areas avoiding, as far as is practical to do so, travelling on the same routes to visit these different places.

Any recommendations on places for coffee, lunch (especially - although not exclusively Public Houses, would be welcomed.

Many thanks again for your reply.

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7. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

lucea,

Thank you. I hadn't considered this as a possible route to Ambleside but it makes good sense and as long as the timings work out it sounds a great option. How long would the drive across the Hardknott pass take from the A595? Given the early start from Edinburgh I think I'd like to get to the hotel in Ambleside late afternoon, say around 5.00 - 6.00.

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8. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

Bongodog, Your suggestions are appreciated and it sounds like 3 full days are taken care of with this itinary. As you might see see from a previous response I've just emailed I'm also interested in recommendations for places to stop for sustenance!

Thanks again for your help.

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9. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

Miles,

Thank you for your contribution! Great advice and now plan to sit down with Google Maps and find out where the places everyone has mentioned are relative to each other and figure out a sensible plan. Thanks for the advice about the unpredictability of weather especially in the hills. We will be sensible!

Thank you again.

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10. Re: 4 Days in the Lake District - Recommendations Please

Guilbert53

Thanks for your contribution - Loughrigg Fell sounds like a 'must do' and given that it will be so close this is on the list.

Thanks again and hope you back to the Lakes again soon.